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Background

One of the main constraints to the enlargement of the Natura 2000 network to marine environments is the lack of research on marine habitats and species far from the coast. Few organizations or institutions have the necessary means to undertake such work. The designation of SCIs has thus been affected by the lack of relevant data on specific species such as cetaceans and seabirds. An Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is an area stretching to 200 nautical miles from the coast, over which a state has special rights to marine resources. Portuguese EEZs include one of the highest abundances of common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Europe and are an important wintering ground for the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus).

A total of 7 SCIs (55 400 ha) and 7 SPAs (58 500 ha) have been created in the Portuguese coastal and marine environment. Nevertheless, political and logistical difficulties have led to a significant delay in drawing up further SCI proposals in costal and marine areas. There is also a small amount of information for implementing appropriate management measures for cetacean and seabird species.


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Last Modified: 29/04/2013

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